Binance is a cryptocurrency exchange and the largest exchange in the world in terms of daily trading volume of cryptocurrencies. It was founded in 2017 and is registered in the Cayman Islands.
Binance was founded by Changpeng Zhao, a developer who had previously created high-frequency trading software. Binance was initially based in China, but later moved its headquarters out of China following the Chinese government’s increasing regulation of cryptocurrency.
CEO Changpeng Zhao had previously founded Fusion Systems in 2005 in Shanghai; the company built high-frequency trading systems for stockbrokers. In 2013, he joined Blockchain.info as the third member of the cryptocurrency wallet’s team. He also worked at OKCoin as CTO for less than a year, a platform for spot trading between fiat and digital assets.
The company was founded in China but moved its servers and headquarters out of China and into Japan in advance of the Chinese government ban on cryptocurrency trading in September 2017.
In January 2018 it was the largest cryptocurrency exchange with a market capitalization of $1.3 billion, a title it has retained as of April 2021, despite competition from Coinbase, among others.
In March 2018, Binance announced its intentions to open an office in Malta after stricter regulations in Japan and China. In April 2018, Binance signed a memorandum of understanding with the government of Bermuda. Months later, a similar memorandum was signed with the Malta Stock Exchange to develop a platform for trading security tokens. In 2019, company announced Binance Jersey, an independent entity from its parent Binance.com exchange, with the aim to expand its European influence. Jersey-based exchange offers fiat-to-cryptocurrency pairs, including the Euro and the British pound.
In August 2018, Binance along with three other big exchanges raised $32 million for a stablecoin project. The idea of stable coins is to provide a cryptocurrency without the notorious volatility of Bitcoin and other popular digital assets.
In January 2019, Binance announced that it had partnered with Israel-based payment processor Simplex to enable cryptocurrency purchases with debit and credit cards, including Visa and Mastercard. The purchases are subject to Simplex’s local bank policies and are limited to Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin and Ripple’s XRP.
In September 2019, the exchange began offering perpetual futures contracts, allowing leverage as high as 125 times the value of the contracts. In November 2019, Binance announced it was acquiring Indian bitcoin exchange WazirX, which became disputed in August 2022 when Binance founder Zhao claimed the deal was never signed.
In July 2020, Binance announced a “strategic partnership” with a Chinese state-owned enterprise under the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of the State Council and that Binance had joined a group “aiming to facilitate” the Belt and Road Initiative.
In February 2022, Binance took a $200m stake in Forbes.
On 27 May 2022, Binance announced the registration of its legal entity in Italy, and has plans of opening offices and expanding the local team in the area. CEO Changpeng Zhao also shared information regarding Binance’s registration with France’s market regulator. The company is also seeking registration in more European countries, such as Switzerland, Sweden, Spain, Netherlands, Portugal and Austria.
According to the Binance website, the company’s focus is on financial freedom. Their mission is as follows:
“Since the launch of Binance.com in July 2017, we have been continuously working hard to increase the freedom of money for people around the world. Overcoming obstacles, building new solutions, and growing our community, we have rarely stopped to put into words what drives us as an organization at our core. Today, as we reflect on Year 3 and look ahead with an infinite mindset, we want to share the core values that have shaped who we are today and how we strive to grow in the future.”
Binance is a team that does not surrender when things get tough. One of its main values, its vision, is to always try and overcome challenges:
“Throughout Binance’s first three years, we have faced so many challenges that would have pulled us down if we weren’t passionate about what we do. Behind each milestone is a special kind of resilience that allows us to be results-driven at all times. We fail fast, learn fast, and pick ourselves up from each challenge to move onward and upward. This is the hardcore mentality that we practice in our daily work.”
Speaking about the idea of financial freedom more broadly:
“At Binance, we are committed to furthering the freedom of money; our products, services, and internal processes all have freedom baked in them. We empower other organizations through open platforms that support them in building great products. We also operate internally on the principle of freedom: if a Binancian wants to build something, we empower them to try. We execute responsibly and autonomously, and empower those around us too.”
Binance is the world’s leading blockchain and cryptoasset infrastructure provider with a range of product that includes the largest cryptoasset marketplace by trading volume. Trusted by 90M+ users from 180+ countries and regions worldwide.
Binance Exchange: Binance Exchange is the largest crypto exchange by trade volume.
BNB Chain: BNB Chain is a community-driven blockchain software system with developers and contributors from all over the world.
Research: Binance Research provides institutional-grade research reports, data-driven insights and analysis for investors in the crypto space.
Binance Charity: Binance Charity is a not-for-profit foundation dedicated to advancing blockchain-enabled philanthropy and global sustainable development.
Labs: Binance Labs is an infrastructure impact fund and an initiative to incubate, invest in, and empower blockchain projects.
BNB: Throughout its history, the company has launched two cryptocurrencies that it developed itself: Binance Coin (BNB), and BinanceUSD (BUSD). BNB launched June 2017, which started as an Ethereum token and later moved to Binance Smart Chain (BSC), which launched in September 2020.
BSC later merged with the older Binance Chain and was rebranded into BNB chain. BNB Chain operates using “Proof of Staked Authority”, a combination of proof of stake and proof of authority. It has 21 approved validators. As of 2021, Binance Coin was the cryptocurrency with the third highest market capitalization. Binance allows its users to pay fees on its exchange with BNB.
BUSD: BUSD, or BinaceUSD is a US Dollar pegged stablecoin issued by Binance. According to Binance it is backed 1:1 by a reserve of US Dollars and was founded by them in partnership with Paxos who is the issuer of the token. Paxos holds the reserves only partially in cash deposited in their US bank accounts with the other part held in U.S. Treasuries. BUSD is natively issued on the Ethereum blockchain by Paxos. Binance creates Binance-Peg BUSD by locking the natively ERC-20 BUSD in a smart contract on the Ethereum Blockchain and issuing Binance-Peg BUSD equivalent to the amount held in reserve in the smart contract. Binance-Peg BUSD is native to BNB chain.
BUSD is a widely used stablecoin being the 3rd largest stablecoin by market capitalisation following USDT and USDC.
The company’s leaders include:
CZ (Changpeng Zhao), Founder & CEO
Yi He, Co-Founder & CMO
Ted Lin, Chief Executive Officer
Alvin Hui, CAMS. Head of Compliance, Singapore.
Christopher Cheng, Head of Strategic Partnership at Binance.
Lynn McConnell, Head of Compliance UK.